It was a moment of intense urgency and misplaced confidence. I had a Pharmacy pickup and we were out of the baby daddy’s Chobani Lime yogurt. Plus, baby girl was on this health kick wanting apples and peanut butter. What? When someone actually REQUESTS healthy things to chow down on, then mama MUST deliver. Therefore, offspring number three and I enter Publix sans nap and a snotty nose.
Within thirty seconds of walking through the doors I see a friend, we hug, she sweet talks the grumpy beast and then he slaps me in the face. Well, that was fun. I may have disciplined in PUBLIC. Hope no ones calls DHR. Immediately after, I go to put the kid into the “Twuck” grocery cart and then “Stage 5 Clinger” surfaces. Grrr. Now he’s crying, snotty face buried into my left shoulder. I grab the steering wheel cart, secure kid on hip and head to the deli section.
We take a detour as we pass the bakery. “I want cake mama. The ‘geen’ ones.” Ugh, I cave. He’s pitiful. Crocodile tears streaming down his snot ridden face. Check. We resume the intended path to the deli.
Fantabulous! There’s a line for that preservative free, low sodium Boar’s Head turkey. Do the baby daddy and I really need this? I don’t have to cook a couple meals if I buy this stuff. Motivated, I choose to endure it.
Next thing I know he has squirmed his way from my grip and grabs a glass container of pickled olives. “Wook mama!”, and starts running from me. I can’t blame a pickle jar disaster on my water breaking. This child’s mama is spayed. He wants down and nothing is working to alleviate this desire.
Then the public toddler meltdown commences. The crying crescendos to epic proportions as the stares of all those loyal deli customers pierce into my back. I think “Well, there’s no going back now. Don’t be that mom that yanks the kid up by the arm. Show them your maternal side. CAMERAS are on you woman.”
I then kneel down to his level, give him a gentle hug and he sobs snotty tears (again) onto my left shoulder. He doesn’t feel well. Time to pick up the pace. I quickly leave the scene of the crime and let him down in the freezer section. Somehow, opening the door to freezing air and grabbing veggie bags provides just the right amount of substantial serotonin needed for BOTH of us to survive this trip.
Fast forward to check out. He helps me unload the yogurt! This is going fabulous! WRONG. As I am swiping my chip embedded debit card (conspiracy theory 101 on that by the way) baby boy sprints towards the electronic doors that lead to ongoing traffic. EEK! Between the bag girl, the assistant manager and myself, we contain the beast. “No! I do not want cash back.” As I throw the crazed toddler onto my shoulder, the lady who bagged my groceries politely asks “May I help you out with these?” “Yesssss you may! Bless you woman.”
As we head to the car, the offspring is calm with his healthy snack I got for him at checkout. (I bribed my kid with candy…don’t judge). Then the nice lady says to me “Honey, I have been there. They just get older and you have a new set of issues. My son is 16 now and he comes home to visit every three months. He looks 25 you know. I help him clean out his filthy car each visit and last time I found some things that made me wish I could go back to those toddler tantrums. At least he’s being SAFE I guess.”
Double take what?! You heard me right. This lady helped her grown son clean used “birth control products” out of his vehicle slash love shack. Is this what I have to look forward to? We may be introducing that STD manual and ten pound birthing video into bedtime ritual a little earlier than anticipated! I’ll take a toddler meltdown on Aisle 1 any day people. Thank you Publix. An extra fifty dollars in healthy frozen veggies and a fresh perspective. 🙂